One of the sharpest cities in the American Southeast has received a dramatic digital makeover in recent years and the new look is delivering welcome buzz to a community striving to assert itself as a hub of commerce and innovation. Charlotte, North Carolina, known colloquially as Queen City, is an established financial center with a burgeoning tech scene and a population that is consistently growing and getting younger. To appeal to the youthful crowds that will drive the city’s economy and culture forwards, movers and shakers in Charlotte are realizing that the city’s appearance needed a substantial aesthetic retrofit. This mission to modernize has so far manifested in two specific locations; Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Bank of America Tower in the Uptown Legacy Union development.
Interconnected at Charlotte Douglas International Airport
As the primary air travel hub for the Carolinas and gateway to much of the American Southeast, Charlotte Douglas International Airport services millions of travelers every year. To bolster its ability to offer premiere air travel services, the city of Charlotte enacted a $2.5 billion renovation project entitled “Destination CLT.” Though impressive, the building renovations called for by the project didn’t exactly bring a “wow” factor that the airport hoped to inject into their passengers’ overall experience.
Enter the integration firm Cenero, renowned digital sculptor Refik Anadol, and NanoLumens. With input from the Charlotte Arts and Science Council and the airport itself, this team installed a digital art feature that has since received wide ranging praise for its creativity and execution, winning a DSE Apex Award and earning High Commendation at the Digital Signage Awards, alongside further recognitions. The installation includes three separate NanoLumens LED displays, one an ENGAGE Series with a 2.5 mm pixel pitch, and two from the Performance Series with 4.7 mm pixel pitches. These displays are used to show off Anadol’s creation, Interconnected, which runs 24 hours a day in Concourse A, constantly regenerating mesmeric waves of visuals influenced by airport data like arrivals, departures, and other passenger details. To hear Anadol say it, “the artwork being displayed is constantly changing and evolving as it responds to the ever changing flow of data, creating a living snapshot of the invisible patterns that surround us as we travel.” A similar experience of connectivity can be found in the Bank of America Tower, home to the largest native 4K display ever installed indoors and host to Second Story’s Unify.
Unify at Charlotte’s Legacy Union
Combining office towers and residential space alongside shopping and dining options, the 10-acre Legacy Union high-rise development sits adjacent to Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers football team. After breaking ground in 2017, the signature building of the development, Bank of America Tower, sought a way to draw the community together into what they hoped would be an inspiring new hub of Uptown activity. Facing a litany of design, integration, and technology hurdles, Legacy Union and architecture firm LS3P brought on Cenero, who then returned to NanoLumens to hopefully repeat the successes of the airport install. The result was a 64-foot wide by 36-foot tall LED display with a total surface area nearly 3.5 times the size of a highway billboard which is used to showcase Unify, a digital sculpture from Second Story in which the actions of every pixel in the digital sculpture affect the movement of its neighbors. “This is a world-class office building,” said Hal Shute of LS30, “so we looked at cutting edge ideas and technologies that could bring the lobby and public space into the 21st century, while making a real impact on both the space’s design and its relevance to the community.” Recently honored by System Contractor News as one of their 2019 Installs of the Year and a finalist for the Digital Signage Awards, it’s safe to say Unify and Legacy Union have proven a definitive success.
For information on these two award-winning installations, NanoLumens content available across a wide range of media. We encourage you to take a look at case studies for Interconnected and Unify, or to simply check out videos of the sculptures in action, available here and here. We even have a webinar on Interconnected and a podcast on Unify as well!